Yesterday, the Chapter Mothers concluded their Spiritual Exercises in Conversano. H.E.R. Mons. Giuseppe Favale, bishop of the diocese (Conversano-Monopoli), presided over the Mass, graciously sharing this important moment with the mothers.
In his homily, the Bishop thanked the sisters for their presence and their apostolate in the Diocese, and urged all the members of the Institute there present to be witnesses of the mercy and the goodness of God, spreading the divine Word, living and efficacious; he furthermore counseled them to do this with a maternal gaze, that seeks to give oneself always and only out of love for the Lord. He also called to mind the fact that the Spiritual Exercises are a very significant moment of the General Chapter, in which the members are called to discern the way of the Institute according to the will of God. Making reference to the Solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist, he affirmed that the Lord wishes that each consecrated sister be a woman impassioned by her own vocation, and love the history of her own Institute, which is a history of mercy.
In the afternoon, a group of the Chapter Mothers made a pilgrimage to the grotto of the apparitions of St. Michael the Archangel, where, according to tradition, the archangel appeared, transforming the cave on the mountain into a sanctuary of graces. The miraculous grotto is located in the National Park of Gargano (in Puglia). On May 8, 490, St. Michael appeared to the bishop of Gargano, after the people had fulfilled three days of fasting and prayers. The successive three apparitions (in 492, 493, and 1656) made the place an important site of pilgrimage across the centuries and continues to be so today.
Today in the morning, some of the Chapter Mothers, as well as the group of assistants, participated in the Holy Mass of priestly and diaconal ordinations in the Seminary of St. Vitaliano of the Institute of the Incarnate Word in Montefiascone (VT). A large number of members of the Religious Family in Italy, as well as friends and benefactors were gathered for the occasion.